Eclectic singer Prince made his debut in the United Kingdom this week (June 2, 1981).
The 21-year-old singer hit the stage with his band, The Revolution, at The Lyceum Theatre, for a performance that included a number of heavyweights in the UK music industry.
Movers and shakers in the business like Sir Bob Geldof, Geoff Travis and Paula Yates attended Prince’s debut performance in their country. Prince had just released three singles, “Got To Stop (Messin’ About),” “I Wanna Be Your Lover,” and “Head.”
He was already making waves in the U.S. Three years earlier in 1978, Prince released his debut album For You, followed the next year, by the platinum-selling album Prince.
“With his sassy grace and precocious musicality he is heir to the defiant rock and roll traditions of Elvis Presley, Jimi Hendrix and Mick Jagger,” a press release gushed about the singer at the time.
In 1980 with the release of Dirty Mind, Prince was drawing crowds and making headlines for his performances. He would hit the stage scantily clad, in black bikini briefs, fringed high-heel boots and black thigh-high stockings.
Prince, who played 26 instruments, performed a variety of songs during his set at The Lyceum, including tracks from his Dirty Mind album. He also introduced a track titled “Jack U Off” that would end up on his 1981 album, Controversy.
Check out this dance off between James Brown, Michael Jackson and Prince, who makes a surprise exit at the end of the clip.